Ramada*

Reflecting over my triggers

I think the bedrock for this started long ago, when I started practicing Islaam as a 16 year old. Of course, what I absorbed was through the filter of my psyche and my upbringing so it’s little wonder I assumed Allaah expected what my parents expected of me. It’s almost as if I sought out an image of Islaam that mapped perfectly onto my upbringing, to stifle any discrepancies. I do remember scoffing at mentions of mercy and viewing it as weakness and almost a kiddy version of Islaam. I now realize I was trying to avoid critiquing my mother’s relationship with me who’d use Islaam a lot in our upbringing.

But it sowed seeds of deep doubts bc my intentions always surpassed my ability and that became a pivotal point of struggle ; trying to undo my limitations, my weaknesses bc I felt incredibly exposed. My faith couldn’t fit there bc my faith was managed by my mind and I had to rise to the occasion. I felt it a defeat and admission of a lukewarm faith if I were to ask Allaah for help. I had to prove myself.

A few years later as I became more and more intellectually rigid in a bid to stack against the doubt, I started punishing myself for my feelings. At this point my feelings were as distant as the moon or as intangible as microbes. I kept my psyche in a frozen state, as if by cryogenics. The group I adhered to espoused beliefs that unequivocally said Allaah doesn’t love unconditionally, you have to earn that love. I internalized this to mean that Allaah will love me to the extent that I prove myself by implementing what I learn. I also believed that if I let my limitations or weaknesses (read: trauma) override what Allaah wanted, then that would be grounds for being led astray. I felt as if Allaah could get mad at me for anything and punish me. There were a lot of talks about punishment and worthiness. Again, I gravitate to these things. Even in the group, I’d tune out ahadeeth and aayat that spoke about balance, leniency, forgiveness, mercy. I didn’t want to give my heart any ammunition.

Ramad*n

Let the triggers go off like fireworks on new year’s.

I ask Allaah to heal my religious wounds completely. I feel even more alienated when I see how everyone is so joyous. I genuinely don’t know where it comes from. I’ve long ago blocked all mentions of Ramadan in all its different spellings.

A few hours after maghrib I felt an unusual calm, that I took as a response to my duaa. Words fail to encompass what I want to say but I trust that Allaah gets it. Cuz I sure don’t.

It feels like a burn injury, this religious wound. Agony from having held on to the conflict for years, charred by the embers of doubt and unworthiness. It stood between seeking the untarnished truth and sticking to the traditions of the group (which I couldn’t connect to no matter how I tried).

The process of shifting was very traumatic, especially since religion and culture are so intertwined that you’re expected to signal and perform your adherence, to ascertain your belonging.

Anyway, I pray these triggers are purifying and that I can find relief from these attacks.

Gladiator heart

To cherish what is present, what I’m connected with, and to not throw that away in pursuit of what’s absent or ambivalent, what’s disconnected, discontented. The days of finding security in expunging all that’s hidden are over. My safety lies here, in my pulsing blood, in my rhythmic breathing, in my feelings that run deep. I’m an ecosystem and I trust that regardless of what comes at me, I’ll be able to return to my balance. I clear away everything superfluous that slows my flow down or obstructs my internal connection by forcing me to hold back my flow or find another, less invasive, path. The more I reveal to myself, of myself, the more that is revealed all around me. Even the silence speaks back to me in echoes.

Only Allaah can connect the dots

Despair is the shrill cry of a soul whose needs have been overlooked and trampled upon. Hope then isn’t a silencing of these cries through vague promises of a better day, but a reinstituting of its right to exist and feel despair. To not belittle or play down the cause of concern but to shift the focus to birthright of every soul as a sovereign being with unconditional access to abundance and any authority figure or institute that instills a lack mentality or justifies despair is false and corrupt.
Hope is the validation of gaslighted soul that’s been cut-off from Allaah on the basis of not being enough.

Intellectualism is deeply impersonal

Derealization is the worst mental pain that can happen to a human. It’s the loss of the language of emotions and sensations that alienates you from the outside world, rendering your inside world meaningless and marooned. It’s like losing your ability to make sound even though you’re talking. Everything is soaked in shades of metallic grey and the air tastes like cold corrosion. It feels like the energy and emotions of others have physical weight and exerts pressure on you from all sides but you can’t take anything in so it just piles up until you feel like you’re in a deadly vortex. You’re divorced from all context and identity and yet you’re confined. It’s deeply paradoxical with no meaning at the core to differentiate.

Concave

Don’t sacrifice yourself for people who are slowly killing you with disrespect or distrust. Being seen and accepted for who you are is a baseline you should safeguard. Your feeling safe comes before helping others out, especially if said others don’t make space to receive you.

Trauma bonding

Rapists get the death sentence in Somalia. Tell me where else they be this swift with it. Y’all can say a lot about Somalis but toxic masculinity is NOT part of the culture. Fight me.

In fact I’d go as far as to say we got more toxic femininity rampant than anything. Women be apologizing and caping for shit. Women were the ones perpetuating fgm and other dehumanizing practices like men eat first and women eat leftovers.

You CAN be a victim of your own enabling a useless praxis. But men are largely absent so that tells you that there aren’t any overt feet on our necks. We internalize self-erasure and glorify codependency and perfectionism. Mothers coddle boys and don’t give them space to take responsibility.

Having and being praised for a martyr complex is WILD because you’re valuing what you do for others over your own existence. No one can make space for YOU if you’re buried in the rubbles of others. And then you direct your frustration with your stunted growth at those for whom you sacrificed yourself for not sacrificing themselves to pull you out of the bed you made in the chaos.

Stop it please. Stop glorifying endurance of suffering and holding on to burning coals as virtues when we’re dying from it. Future generations of Somali girls are dying from not seeing self-actualization and emotional stability in us. They’ll die before they are even born because a woman’s zest comes from her spirit and there’s NOTHING worth blocking the heart for.

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